Lee Westwood can extend his lead at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking in this week’s Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, while the World’s Top top five could take on much changed look on Sunday night.
Westwood, who assumed the Number One spot prior to the previous HSBC sponsored tournament, the WGC- HSBC Champions in November, cannot be dislodged from the world’s summit but can strengthen his stranglehold with victory on his first appearance of the 2011 season.
With 56 World Ranking points on offer this week - the most so far this year which highlights the quality of the Abu Dhabi field - Westwood will hope to put further distance between himself and Tiger Woods, over whom he currently holds a 1.52 average points advantage.
Former World Number One Woods could be replaced in the Number Two spot by either Race to Dubai Champion Martin Kaymer or fellow American Phil Mickelson, who are both competing for the coveted Falcon Trophy this week.
US PGA Champion Kaymer, who is defending his title this week, needs to finish in the top seven to overtake 14 time Major Champion Woods and climb to a career high World Number Two.
Mickelson, who is making his debut in the event, is currently tied for fourth place on the Official World Golf Ranking with US Open Champion Graeme McDowell and both will be eyeing a victory in Abu Dhabi to bolster their respective hopes of becoming World Number One in 2011.
McDowell could move to World Number Three with victory in Abu Dhabi should Kaymer finish outside the top 12.
With the elite of the globe’s golf talent vying for both the Falcon Trophy and vital World Ranking points at stake, the competition promises to be hot in the desert.